Director-cinematographer-editor Robert Greene’s “Owning the Weather” is another in the growing catalog of cautionary tales about what happens when man messes with nature. The weather is the source of most everyone’s everyday commonplaces; some writers dwell on it, other novels take place in worlds without weather. It’s a great subject, and Greene interviews scientists and laymen alike in his survey of the history of failed weather modification plans and other plans aborning. The global implications of contemporary eco-tampering as displayed here are frightening. At its debut at the Full Frame documentary festival last year, Greene told Independent Weekly, “No one would ever say they want to own a cloud to own the weather. But we’ve sold the electromagnetic spectrum; we’ve sold water. If you take things to their absurd end point you can see more clearly what’s on the table.” With a score that would not be out of place in a science-fiction film, Greene paints a compelling, if frightening portrait of the case for and against taking control of the weather. 92m. (Ray Pride)
“Owning The Weather” opens Friday at Facets. A trailer is embedded below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published soon. Previews of the project are on Twitter and on Instagram as Ghost Signs Chicago. More photography on Instagram.